What Blessings? What Changes? What Opportunities?

What Challenges will 2015 Bring For Christ Lutheran?

A year ago, who would have guessed we would find ourselves again in a time of transition trying to discern how to best staff the ministry we share at Christ Lutheran? A year ago, who would have imagined we would not only have a “community garden” (that in 2014 produced over 250 pounds of fresh produce which was all given away to the local food shelves) but we would also be thinking of ways to make it more pro-ductive? A year ago, who would have guessed we would mourn the death of at least 11 people of our church community who died in 2014? A year ago, who would have thought we would be able to add video capabilities to our worship space in a way that respects and honors the sanctuary’s character and history, while at the same time allowing us to explore ways of deepening our worship and faith experience? The sim-ple answer to all those questions is: no one. No one would have imagined the changes, the opportu-nities, the blessings, and challenges we faced in 2014.
God’s Is-Ness is our ministry/stewardship theme for 2015. In-herently woven into this theme is the un-derstanding that this coming year will bring changes, challenges, opportunities and blessings. We should actual worry if it didn’t - be-cause the only churches not facing changes, challenges, blessings and opportunities are churches that are dead. But also inherently woven into this theme is the understanding that God will be in the midst of it all. We might not know what is going to happen, there will be sur-prise moments of joy, and sudden unexpected moments of loss. Through all the moments, God’s Is-Ness is a promise that God is at work in the mission and ministry we share at Christ Lutheran. God’s Is-Ness is a promise that God is at work in each of our lives in some-times surprising and subtle ways.
We don’t know what we will face together as the people of God alive in Christ in 2015. We don’t know how we will be stretched and called to think in new ways. We don’t know the many ways God will bless us and others through us. We don’t know the joys and pain we will share. But we do know God’s Grace will see us through. We do know God’s Is-Ness means God is at work in and through us right now, right here, as together we join in the ministry we share.
... a promise that God is at work in the mission and ministry we share at Christ


“We the People of Christ Lutheran Church Are a Welcoming Community Seeking to Grow Faithful and Transformed Members, Who Serve in God’s World with Love.”

We believe that our welcoming friendliness is one of Christ Lutheran Church’s distinguishing characteristics.  Whether you are a long time resident of our community, a newcomer, or an occasional guest, you are invited to become a part of our extended Christian family.  Come to worship; visit one of our educational or social offerings; participate in a musical group; or find a place to serve.  Come find your spiritual home at Christ Lutheran Church  in Marine on St. Croix.

Our history...

140 years ago, the Swedish settlers who chose Marine Mills as their  home started a church with the mission belief “...to at last come here to unite ourselves in God’s name.” 

In 1872, eighty-one people gathered  to begin a church congregation for themselves and the generations that followed. They built a church, paying $540 for lumber and $348.12 for labor. The site they chose sat on top of a hill, overlooking the St. Croix River and its Valley, so the community could follow the light from the steeple tower. 

The church mission written in Swedish translates into the needs of today’s generation…“As most of us have considered that such a step is necessary for the welfare of Christ’s kingdom and our own souls’ welfare…”

Today the light of the steeple tower continues to shine. Old and young worship together in a remodeled handicap-accessible facility. Area organizations are encouraged to utilize Christ Lutheran’s expanded gathering spaces like the Nyman Center and Torgeson Hall, for meetings and to learn more about the warmth and fellowship enjoyed by church members.

Created in God’s image, we are called to celebrate our unity in Christ and live as His followers, with the light of Christ shining through us. We are the church, one church, Christ’s church  —generation to generation—with the beacon of light brightening our world.

We are part of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)



Joel Martin, Pastor

Laura Langreck, Office Manager 

Jessica Hansen, RBPS Director

Susan Foss, Financial Secretary

Sue Knefelkamp, Custodian

Bob Waedekin, Music Coord./Organist

Pastor Joel

Joel Martin began his call as senior pastor at Christ Lutheran in February of 2009. Previously he served for 12 years as pastor of Lord of the Valley Lutheran Church in Granby, Colorado and before that as a chaplain at Fairview-University (then Riverside) Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Joel is known for his skills at preaching and leading worship. His warm and upbeat personality emerges as he brings to worship an honest and hope-filled demeanor. His messages proceed on a foundation of Biblical scholarship and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the community and congregation. In worship, Bible study, and in daily conversations, Joel is continually inviting the congregation to expand their understanding of what it means to intentionally live lives as followers of Christ.

Joel received his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul and his Doctorate in Ministry from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Joel and his wife, Linda, live in Marine with their son and their daughter, both of whom attend schools in the Stillwater district.